Top 20 Coolest New Gadgets in 2021, Again

Tech-heads rejoice! Earlier this year we brought you 20 new gadgets to get your eyes bulging with wonder. Well, we just couldn’t help ourselves. We’ve gone and done it again. Another 20 gadgets for practical or droll purposes. Just in time for whatever you’re celebrating this holiday season. We’ve tried not to double up on categories we brought you last time, so if you’re looking for your favorite robot-mop or bluetooth tile, check out our first blog here. 

Note: We do not receive any affiliate commissions from this blog. Our love has not been bought. 

Budget Guide

$ – Less than $50

$$ – Up to $200

$$$ – Up to $500

$$$$ – $500+

20. Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet

$$

Never have such startlingly enthusiastic reviews been elicited from a wallet! No more clutching with beefy fingers at elusive credit cards. One button triggers your cards to fan out, auto-ejected and ready for selection. RFID tech protects from electronic skimming. Not only is it utile, it’s effortlessly stylish with high-quality leather and slim body. Optional tracker card means zero panic. Simply locate where you dropped it, or tackle the pickpocket with conviction. 

Available from Ekster

19. Nanoleaf Canvas Light Panels

$$$

The ultimate embodiment of ambient minimalism, these smart lights elevate your home. Touch-sensitive squares can be set to any color, on any schedule, and activated by voice command. Long-life LED means you’re environmentally responsible, and an audio sensor means your lights can react to the ragers you plan to host. Nanoleaf’s biggest selling point is the easy autonomy it provides to create unique, beautiful light clusters. Weightless mobility means you can arrange to your heart’s content. No extra requirements for set up mean even the IKEA-weary will be glowing in no time. 

Shop at Nanoleaf

18. Oura Ring Generation 3

$$$$

You’ve heard of smart watches tracking your sleep cycles and heartbeat, but have you heard of a ring doing the same thing? So inconspicuous (and waterproof) you forget you’re wearing it, the Oura Ring tracks your heartbeat and sleep cycles. Providing you with an overall wellness rating, it cues you to rest and recover, or prime for output, by assessing your vitals. With in-depth or bite-sized info, you’ll be educating yourself on optimizing your energy levels in no time. Other striking features coming soon or in beta include workout heart rate, oxygen level measurement and a period predictor. Two hours of charge to 100% gives you a week of use – not bad for such a nifty little piece. The look and style? As one reviewer put it, it isn’t too far off from what Frodo schlepped to Mordor.” That’s gold. But it also comes in silver, black and matte black. One thing to note is that after the first six months, a monthly subscription kicks in, ensuring access to ongoing upgrades and new features. One the one hand, it’s a bummer. On the other, competitors are doing the same thing, but at a much higher price. 

Head to Oura for more. 

17. Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking

$$ 

This is uber-cool. Belkin’s drop tracks your face so you can go about your business while filming a cooking vlog or watching shows while bopping about the room. Hook it up with an easy tap, thanks to the magnet made for iPhone 12 and 13 series.The app can link up to your social media accounts for easy streaming, and has facial recognition technology built-in. They don’t currently recommend it for FaceTime or video chatting services, but that can’t be far off, not with a whiz-bang this useful…

Buy from Belkin. 

16. Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook 

$

Notebook lovers, writers and environmentalists everywhere, take note! Everyone’s talking about Moleskine’s drop, but Rocketbook is not only more affordable, it’s better reviewed. This is a reusable notebook that lets you upload your workings straight to PDF. Erase with a damp cloth, rinse and repeat. While it doesn’t convert handwriting to typed text just yet, at less than a quarter the price of its competition, it’s still a hugely worthy investment. 

Check it out with Rocketbook

15. BioLite Fire Pit+

$$$

Remember The Sims, when your people would pick up entire furniture-sized objects and carry them in their pocket? Well, now you can, too! With this portable, battery-powered fire pit from BioLite. Get all the “warmth, smell, crackle and feel of a wood campfire”, sans smoke. Use charcoal or firewood in this 20 pound bad-boy and adjust levels manually, or by bluetooth. It’s also versatile; toss in your grill grate and have a barbecue! I have intel that it isn’t entirely smokeless, but close-to is still pretty good, especially at this price point. 

Get lit with BioLite.  

14. SolarPuff Lantern

$

We’re all looking for ways to be more eco-responsible, and this is a great one for outdoor adventures. This foldable, self-inflating lantern is entirely solar powered, and can be set to adjust brightness to its surroundings. It’s paper light, has varying levels of intensity and even has a setting to flash out SOS in morse code, making it perfect for emergency situations. Made from recyclable sailcloth, it’s heavy-duty, waterproof and floats, with a dandy velcro handle. The SolarPuff will light up your life, without the use of batteries. 

Order from SoLite Design. 

13. 840 SelectTech Kettlebell

$$

At the beginning of time, I suppose humans used to just lift rocks or tree trunks as a matter of course and survival, not Instagram. Today, with readily available luxuries such as shelter, we’ve found other ways to bulge the old biceps. Dumbbells, Zumba, Barre… and now this. HOW have they done it? Bowflex’s kettlebell provides varying levels of weight, ranging from 8 to 40 pounds. Simply turn a dial to change the level of resistance. Plus, the product comes with 24 free exercises curated and delivered by fitness trainers. That’s a way to save space and trim your figure, in one 21st century kettlebell.

Best deal available via Amazon. 

12. Vuzix Blade 1.5 Upgraded Version AR Smart Glasses

$$$$

We’ll be upfront with you here. This is not our top pick for aesthetics. If you’re looking for beauty in your smart glasses, better to check out Bose or Ray Ban for their customizable (and less expensive) options. But for features, look no further than Vuzix. This is the first step towards the future of smart glasses. A glimpse at what we can expect in everyday life of the future. Get ready: it’s got a lot of capabilities. Not only can you watch Netflix and have video chats using these glasses, you can control and track a drone. The in-built camera allows you to photograph or record on the fly. AR overlay means that you can map and get phone notifications, all while ambling down the street. Alexa is hooked up for all your regular commands, and you can have conversations and listen to music, knowing no one else can hear what’s going on, but you. 

Buy from Vuzix. 

11. Oblio Wireless Charging Station with UV Sanitizer

$$

We compared this with the PhoneSoap Pro UV Sanitizer & Charger, but their presentation veers more towards tanning bed than minimalist 21st century. While their tech is savvy, our pick was chosen for its convenience and design. This wireless charging station works with any Qi devices and pulverizes surface germs in just 20 minutes. With a sleek, bucket-like design, simply drop your device in and go about your business, knowing it’ll be ready in no time. 

Get it from the source, Oblio. 

10. Trova Home Biometric Smart Safe

$$$$

This sexy gadget will make you feel like James Bond. A totally innocuous biometric safe that opens with the gentlest touch of your fingerprint, its classy architecture works to keep your goods safe. Parents use it to hide drugs from toddlers and jewels from thieves. You can even charge your devices inside and adjust the humidity. The smart safe will notify you if sticky fingers have moved or attempted to open it. If you can’t get enough, Trova also has mobile options for discreet but secure storage on the go. 

Check out the range at Trova.

9. ZUS Smart Vehicle Health Monitor

$$

For full transparency, the jury is out on this hypothetically handy device. Some users sing its praises, while others can’t seem to get it to work. We are in that funny space of time with VR and AI; it’s still in its infancy, so we can expect some clunky, nascent tech. That said, this is actually quite a sophisticated little onboard diagnostic device for Android OS. Once it’s plugged in, it’ll analyze historical data from the car to predict any issues. One of the coolest features is that it decodes error codes and provides full tutorials on how to fix it yourself; if it’s straightforward, this can save you thousands of dollars. Plus, you can clear them after they’re resolved, something a mechanic usually has to do. By tracking your mileage and driving behavior, it lets you know where you can improve, and automatically logs to make deductions a breeze at tax time. 

Available at Nonda. 

8. Smart Mat

$$

The perfect gift for a lot of people you know, this mat is self-rolling with a flick of the wrist. It coils to aligned perfection, with no room for unexpected splays on your commute. It’s just the right amount of non-slip squishy-soft, and comes with some guided flows you can hook up to your smart speaker. It’s the little luxuries that count.

Currently awaiting restock, it’ll be available at Amazon. 

7. SRS-RA5000 360 Reality Audio Speaker

$$$$

Generating a lot of buzz because of its claims and it being Sony, this pick promises a transformative audio experience with 360° reality audio. While it is still just one unit and can only do so much when it’s in one place, the sound quality is amazing. It has seven driver units firing in different directions to fill your space with music. The reality audio is only available on a limited basis, for those songs built for it, but the stereo quality is also great. Hook it up with Google Assistant or Alexa to trigger voice commands. The price point is kind of high for what it is, but it is still an excellent pick for amateur audiophiles. 

Read more at Sony. 

6. June Oven 3

$$$$

In the tradition of naming inanimate objects and apartment buildings after people, this oven has been given a 1925 heyday moniker; June. And guess what? It meets the expectations of the ideal 20th century housewife as outlined in books and decorum classes of the time. In other words, it can cook. In a machine the size of a microwave, it performs 12 different types of cooking, from air frying to broiling, grilling to roasting. Guided recipes walk you through hassle-free culinary wizardry. You can even preheat June remotely using the app, and use the video component to check on what’s cooking. Now that’s handy!

Get cooking with June. 

5. The Frame QLED 4K Smart TV

$$$$

The writer’s personal favorite, this TV has been on the market for a little while at an astonishingly reasonable price. It’s a class act for the refined individual, displaying whatever art you please to strikingly realistic effect. When you’re done with the sophistication, you can just turn on the 4K TV. I’m going to bring up The Sims again. Remember the ‘environment’ rating on furniture and appliances? This television actually does up the ambience. You can also mirror your laptop or phone and use the frame to WFH. And like many of our picks on this list, it works with multiple voice assistants. 

Available through Samsung. 

4. Pixel Buds A-Series Wireless Earbuds

$$

A pair of buds that nestle snugly and produce top-quality audio, these are quickly becoming big favorites. You can interact with them like you do any voice assistant, asking for directions on the go, and even– get this, performing real-time translation of foreign languages. The one divisive feature is its Adaptive Sound component; on the one hand, knowing that on a call in noisier places, the volume adjustment is taken care of, is great. On the other, it can be annoying when changing the otherwise organic trajectory of a song. Either way, it’s got everything you’re looking for in a talented pair of earbuds. 

Get it from Google. 

3. PlayStation Classic

$$

Perhaps the most reasonably priced Playstation in its history, this classic console comes loaded with not one but twenty games. Drawn from the selection of the genesis of 3D gameplay, they are alternately wobbly and nostalgia-inducing. What a thrill to play something clunky but reminiscent of days gone by. It’s over 40% smaller than the original version, but still has the authentic experience of wired controllers and no menu button. You just have to hit ‘reset’ each time. A trip that’s worth it, and the perfect gift this holiday season. 

Buy from Amazon. 

2. The Mirror

$$$$

You’ve probably heard of Echelon’s touchscreen mirror for getting your sweat on at home. With remote or hybrid employment practically the norm these days, more people have taken advantage of at-home workouts. And this product is super exciting – a reflective, touchscreen surface that is packed with all sorts of workouts, led by trainers and occasionally, celebrities. They’ve also got live classes available, and there’s no app download required, as The Mirror connects directly to Wifi. It’s fingerprint and sweat-resistant. What more could you want for a full-service, self-satisfying fitness session? There is a caveat – while some reviewers are very happy with their purchase, there are others with various qualms. These range from damaged goods upon delivery, to poor sound mix, to a lack of authentic challenge in the workouts. It’s safe to say that as a newer drop to hit the market, they’ll have their ear on the ground and will integrate feedback for ongoing evolution.

Purchase from Echelon. 

1. MSI Optix MAG272CQR Curved Gaming Monitor

$$$

Beautifully tailored and well-reviewed, this monitor is becoming a fast favorite for gamers everywhere. Curved for immersion, anti-glare and with a 165Hz Refresh Rate, it’s 27” of online captivation. And, it’s exceptionally well-priced. 

Amazon’s got game. 

What other gadgets are catching your whimsy this holiday season? Let us know! 

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